As a country, Canada is hard to define. Cosmopolitan cities and rugged mountains, grizzly bears and the world’s coolest Prime Minister - Canada is a delicious cocktail of contradictions. The country seems simultaneously naive and street-wise, its forward-thinking ethos packed with a genuineness that only adds to the country’s natural beauty. Maybe the buzz-word for Canada is acceptance. The vast country accepts people of all shapes, sizes and colours from all shores. It accepts the past, present and future, but most of all it accepts every part of Canadian life. So, whether you prefer vibrant cities or isolated cabins in the woods, Canada promises to welcome you in and deliver in abundance.
Canada’s cultural diversity dates back to the late 19th Century, when its borders opened to countries across the globe to help grow the country’s population. The welcoming immigration policy embraced new cultures, encouraging immigrants to maintain their cultural traditions, languages and customs. As a result, the Canada of today is a veritable melting pot of nations; although French and English are the official languages of Canada, non-official languages include Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish, Arabic and Italian. Of course, these languages may not be present in the more remote areas of the country, but as you walk down any main city street you will hear a Babel of languages, representing Canada’s attitude of – you guessed it – acceptance.
Direct flights to Canada fly into a number of airports, including Toronto Pearson Airport, Vancouver International Airport, Calgary International Airport, Montreal Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, and Edmonton International Airport.
The best time to visit Canada really depends on what you want to see and do! Canada experiences distinct seasons, with plummeting temperatures and plenty of snow in the winter and hot, sunny days in the summer. November and December see the start of the winter months, with temperatures dropping and the start of snowfall. These months are popular for tourists from Canada and beyond, who come to enjoy a frosty festive season. By January there is plenty of snow – perfect for winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing. There are plenty of wildlife experiences to be had, but the Northern Lights are probably the highlight of the season. During April, the Rockies are at their best for winter sports, while the west coast leaps into spring; by May and June, the snow has thawed, national parks reopen and the first blossoms start to appear. Late June-July bring true summer: long days camping, fishing, horse riding and exploring the countryside and cities – your options are limitless! If you are looking for cheap flights to Canada, plan your trip in late April- May, when there are fewer crowds and better deals on flights and accommodation.
Name an outdoor pursuit, and Canada has got it. From skiing in winter to huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ in summer, Canada’s unspoilt countryside allows you to witness the many delights of nature at its best. As the second largest country in the world, Canada’s landscapes vary hugely, from glistening glaciers to magnificent mountains, isolated beaches to majestic rainforests. If you are lucky (or unlucky!) you may glimpse bears – of the polar and grizzly kind, whales and even the iconic moose. Bask in the warm summer sun on the pink-sand beaches of Prince Edward Island;spot icebergs, eagles and whales as you canoe in the Terra Nova National Park; snowboard through Whistler’s mountains; or take a walk through Stanley Park in Vancouver – the outdoor opportunities are endless and varied. A few days wildlife-spotting at Banff National Park will leave you with memories that you will treasure for a lifetime. And of course, a trip to Canada wouldn’t be complete without taking in at least some of the the 36-mile stretch of the Niagara River and visiting Niagara Falls, the sheer scale of which is staggering.
Canada’s cities are as varied as its landscapes, from the urban sophistication of Toronto and Montreal, to the relaxed vibe of Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, with its beautiful 18th and 19th Century architecture.
Canada’s cultural capital, Toronto is a thriving, multicultural hub which showcases the open arms and welcoming face of Canada. The magnificent CN Tower, one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World presides majestically over the thriving city, which boasts one of the most diverse populations in the world, as well as the second largest China Town in North America.
Vancouver, meanwhile, exudes a more laid-back vibe. Nestled between ocean and mountains, Vancouver is a favourite location for winter and water sports. The city’s stunning natural beauty, sleek architecture and cultural diversity fuse seamlessly to create a city vibe unlike any other in the world. And then there is Montreal, which feels like a petit France. With its 17th Century cobbled streets, colonial architecture and predominantly French speakers, Montreal possesses a je ne sais quoi that makes it simply irresistible.
With its cultural diversity and myriad indigenous ingredients, Canada’s cuisine has so much more to offer than crispy bacon and maple syrup (although you really shouldn’t go a day in Canada without having one or the other, or both!). Canada’s most popular national dish is thought to have originated in the 1950s in Quebec. Poutine is not just cheesy chips with gravy; it is a national treasure. Crisp chips topped with glistening gravy and cheese curd, poutine is the ultimate comfort food. Many eateries have tried to refine the dish with the addition of lobster and even caviar, but the original is sufficiently moreish.
Thanks to the large game population in Canada, game meat features heavily on most menus; dispel the image of eating Bambi and chow down on wild boar, venison, bison or caribou, cooked to your taste. With its crystal-clear waters, Canada produces some of the best salmon in the world. Pacific salmon is different to Atlantic salmon in both colour and taste; wild Pacific salmon is lighter in colour and has a subtler flavour. In addition to salmon, fish lovers will be spoilt for choice: try Nova Scotia lobster, Prince Edward Island mussels, fresh oysters or Arctic char.
There is no doubt, Canada will get under your skin. From outdoor pursuits, to arts and culture and diverse cities, in Canada you can just be. Wherever you go and whatever you do, you will witness the pureness and captivating beauty of this warm-hearted country.
Do you fancy planning the trip of a lifetime? Travangelo can help you to find cheap flights to Canada.